Following years of controversy over their stance on LGBTQ members, the Boy Scouts of America announced Monday that they will permit transgender children who identify as boys to join their packs and troops.
It was, by all accounts, a refreshingly inclusive gesture on behalf of the scouting organization ― and one that will undoubtedly please 8-year-old Joe Maldonado and his family. The third grader, who resides in Secaucus, New Jersey, sparked a national dialogue around the issue of transgender scouts after he claimed to have been asked to withdraw from his Cub Scout pack in November 2016 because he identifies as trans. (Following Monday’s announcement, he’s been invited back.)
Still, not everyone is thrilled. The N.C. Values Coalition, which deems itself a “bipartisan” network that rallies for “pro-family” positions, blasted the group’s decision in a Tuesday blog post. In it, they argued that the scouting organization had “lost its way” when it decided to allow transgender children to participate.
“The Boy Scouts were founded in part to foster the healthy development of masculinity and morals among boys,” officials wrote in the post while encouraging parents to seek out “faith-friendly” alternatives, like Trail Life U.S.A., for their sons. “It is sad to see an important institution that has served over 110 million individuals buckle beneath the weight of political correctness.”
Meanwhile, the Florida Family Policy Council’s John Stemberger, who’s been deemed the Sunshine State’s “leading anti-LGBTQ activist,” claimed the Boy Scouts was “encouraging and facilitating a recognized mental disorder” in their decision. “Knowing that boys and biological girls will be showering, dressing and camping in tents together create a clear child protection issue which is being ignored,” he said in a statement on his organization’s website. “It’s simply stunning that a leading youth organization which parents entrust the protection of their children with has opted to again appease political activists rather than follow clear, common-sense best practices for child protection.”
As troubling as these viewpoints are, knowing that a new generation of children will be encouraged to have more rational and inclusive mindsets because of the Boy Scouts’ decision is the perfect antidote.
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